February 2021

Paedophile from Northamptonshire spared jail for using Kik to swap naked pictures with teens

A paedophile caught with dozens of sick pictures of teenage girls he met in online chatrooms has been spared jail.

Ryan Murrell of Sturgess Court, Burton Latimer sent them lewd files of himself before storing naked pictures and videos he received on Kik on his phone.

The 25-year-old told detectives from Northamptonshire Police he was sexually interested in girls aged 14-plus in a “full and frank” interview after he was arrested.

On Friday (February 12) he was told he faced only a suspended prison sentence but his contact with girls under the age of 18 would be restricted for 10 years.

Leicester Crown Court heard police visited his home in May 2019 and he was cautioned, before telling police he had a phone under his bed.

When the device was examined police found 18 category A indecent images of children, 12 category B files and 45 category C files, category A being the most depraved.

In total 23 of them were short videos. Police also found 234 cartoons depicting children engaging in sex acts.

When he was interviewed Murrell said he had been spending a lot of time on the internet, gaming and using chatrooms on Kik, with a sexual interest in girls aged 14 and over.

Prosecuting, Jeremy Janes said: “He was to say that the images related to his online chats with eight or nine females who would fall into that bracket.”

Murrell would send them nude images and retain any he received back on his phone for his own sexual purposes.

He later admitted this had happened for about two years prior to the police investigation.

At first he chatted to a female who initially said she was 18 before telling him she was in fact 16.

Mr Janes said: “He realised she was younger than an adult but he kept on messaging her.”

Murrell, who had no previous convictions, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing prohibited images of children.

Sentencing, His Honour Judge David Herbert QC said it would be proper suspend Murrell’s eight-month prison sentence for two years.

A sexual harm prevention order was made for 10 years, restricting his use of devices and contact with females under the age of 18, and he will be on the register for sex offenders.

The paedophile must also take part in a sex offending programme and rehabilitation activities.

Judge Herbert warned him: “You come back in front of me and you won’t get a second chance.”